Broiled pineapple and pepper medley

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INGREDIENTS:

2 cups Jasmine rice

1 pineapple, cored and sliced

1 cup sweet peppers, chopped

1/2 cup onion, chopped

2 stalks celery, chopped

1/8 cup corn or rice starch

1/4 cup coconut aminos (or soy sauce)

1/4 cup coconut sugar (or other sweetener)

1 cup or more of water

Teriyaki sauce (optional)

Black pepper to taste

INSTRUCTIONS:

Cook rice and set aside.

Gently blanch peppers, onions, and celery in a few tablespoons of water on high heat for about two minutes.

Place pineapple slices on a large pizza pan or broiling tray (with sides to catch liquid) then sprinkle on peppers, onions, and celery and place under broiler for a few minutes until liquid starts to sweat from pineapple.  Drain liquid into a wok or large skillet and return pineapple and peppers to broiler until starting to char, rotating occasionally for even cooking.

Add cornstarch, coconut aminos, and coconut sugar to wok and whisk until bubbly. Add water slowly, continuing to whisk, until thick and bubbly.  Add more aminos, sugar, and optional teriyaki sauce to taste.

Add broiled pineapple and vegetable mixture to wok and blend over high heat. Remove from heat and serve over rice with fresh ground black pepper.

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Vegan mashed potatoes 

INGREDIENTS:

1/2 cup cashews

3 pounds of Russett potatoes

Salt & pepper

Nutritional yeast

Pinch of dried parsley

1 TBSP dried minced garlic

Vegan gravy mix

INSTRUCTIONS:

Soak cashews in water for at least 30 minutes (but preferably overnight)

Puree the cashews in a Vitamix or blender with 1 cup water and about 1/4 cup of nutritional yeast, minced dried garlic, and a pinch of dried parsley.

Boil the potatoes until soft enough to mash with a fork.

Mash the potatoes, adding the pureed cashew mixture.  I enjoyed mine topped with Road’s End Organics savory herb gravy.

Eggplant lasagna

Another great find on the reduced produce shelf at my local Giant supermarket.  This beautiful eggplant was less than $1.00.  My favorite use for eggplant is in eggplant lasagna.

INGREDIENTS:

Veggies:

1 large eggplant

About 4 cups of baby spinach (do not measure, just use as you go when layering)

About 2 cups of cremini mushrooms, sliced (do not measure, use as needed for layers)

Sauce:

28.2 ounce can of organic whole peeled tomatoes

28.2 ounce can of organic diced tomatoes

1/2 cup soaked raw cashews, drained and rinsed

2 TBSP dried minced onion

2 TBSP dried minced garlic

2 TBSP dried parsley

2 TBSP dried oregano

2 TBSP dried basil

2 TBSP nutritional yeast

2 TBSP coconut sugar

2 TBSP coconut aminos

1 tsp red pepper flakes (or more if you like it spicier)

“Cheese” for top layer:

1/2 cup cashews, soaked at least 30 minutes (but preferably overnight)

1 tsp minced garlic

1 tsp nutritional yeast

1/2 tsp dried oregano

1/2 tsp basil

water

INSTRUCTIONS:

First, peel the eggplant and cut it in half lengthwise.

Then cut each half into thin wedges.

Eggplant is sometimes bitter and too thick and crispy to use in lieu of lasagna noodles, so I typically soak it in water overnight at room temperature to take out the bitterness and to soften it.  Sprinkling it with salt also has this effect, but I do not typically use salt so that was not an option for me.  Keep the pieces submerged in water by placing a plate or pot lid on top of the eggplant pieces until none of them are sticking out of the water.

Also, soak a half cup of raw cashews overnight in water.

The next day, drain and rinse the eggplant pieces and set aside while you make the homemade sauce.

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Put all sauce ingredients except the diced tomatoes into a Vitamix or other blender and blend until frothy.  Stir in the diced tomatoes so that the sauce is a little chunky.

Pour a thin layer of the sauce into a large casserole dish (I used a Pyrex 4.8 quart oblong baking dish).  Layer with eggplant pieces (single layer).

Add a layer of fresh spinach, then a layer of chopped cremini mushrooms, then another layer of sauce.

Repeat the process of layering with sauce, then eggplant, then spinach, then mushrooms with the last layers consisting of eggplant then sauce.

  

Blend “cheese” ingredients in a Vitamix or other high speed blender, adding water until the mixture is the consistency of pancake batter.  Pour/spread “cheese” batter on top of last layer of sauce then bake in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for about an hour and 15 minutes.

Let stand for about 15 minutes after it is removed from the oven so the sauce can thicken.

Serve topped with garlic powder and vegan Parma.  

Since all I had eaten earlier in the day was a personal watermelon fo breakfast and 4 oranges for lunch and I had just gone for a run, I ate this entire tray of lasagna for dinner!  Then later, as a late-night snack I ate an entire bowl of fresh strawberries. High-carb ultra-low fat vegan living is definitely not for people who don’t like to feast on huge amounts of delicious food every day.  Why would anyone want to eat a restrictive diet instead of thriving on all-you-can-eat food that your body craves and was meant to consume?  Did I mention low-sodium and no cholesterol?  GO VEGAN!

Simple broccoli and rice

Steam some Jasmine rice (I used 1-1/2 cups dry)

Steam some broccoli

Put the rice in a bowl and add some coconut aminos.

Top with broccoli and more coconut aminos and maybe a little garlic powder and ground black pepper.

Cantaloupe!

Have I mentioned before how much I love to eat melons for breakfast? Since I totally over-stuffed myself last night eating an entire pot of bean-thread noodle soup I figured this morning I would start out slow by eating a solitary large and juicy lope, which only has about 275 calories. However, what my lope lacks in calories it makes up for in nutritional content. One large cantaloupe has 550% of my daily vitamin A and 497% of vitamin C. It also has 30% of vitamin B-6, 14% magnesium, 9% iron, and 7% calcium. As an added bonus, 7 grams of protein, 1.6 grams fat, and a nice dose of 66 grams of carbohydrate to give me energy to face my day. Perhaps I should have given my dog a lope this morning as she appeared to have no desire to face the day when she chose to hide under my desk rather than go for a walk in the rain.


Fajita wraps for dinner

I was shopping at Giant last evening and came across five red bell peppers on the reduced produce shelf for under $4.00. Hence, I decided that I would make fajitas for dinner.  These fajitas are oil free and salt free and are packed with nutritious goodness.  I typically try to derive at least 80% of my calories from carbs and no more than 10% of my calories from protein and 10% from fat throughout the week (80/10/10).  Usually I am closer to 90/5/5 on a daily basis so once or twice per week I will make a meal like this which has much more protein (from the beans) and much more fat (from the avocados) than I typically eat for dinner.

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INGREDIENTS:

5 red bell peppers (or a mix of various colors of peppers, perhaps even add a jalepeno if you want more spice)

2 onions

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

1 tsp each of dried minced garlic and rice vinegar

2 tsp each of nutritional yeast, cumin, cilantro, chili powder, coconut aminos, and corn starch

3 tsp coconut sugar

1 jar of salsa

2 ripe avocados

1 tsp lime juice

1 can refried beans

1 package of soft tortillas (or red chile sandwich petals like I used)


 INSTRUCTIONS:

1.  Wash the bell peppers and take out the seeds and trim the white parts.

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2.  Slice the peppers into strips and slice the onions into wedges.

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3.  Place peppers into one skillet and place the onions into a separate skillet.

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4.  Do NOT add water or oil, but dry fry over very high heat, turning and stirring with a metal spatula every few minutes as the vegetables are charred.

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5.  Once the vegetables are charred and beginning to soften, transfer the onions into the same skillet as the peppers and mix them together and turn off the flame.

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6.  Pour about 1-1/2 cups of water into the hot empty skillet that the onions were cooked in then add cayenne pepper, dried minced garlic. rice vinegar, nutritional yeast, cumin, cilantro, chili powder, coconut aminos, corn starch, and coconut sugar.  Mix well and bring to a boil.  The consistency should be like a thin gravy and not everything will dissolve.

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7.  Add peppers and onions and half the jar of salsa to the bubbling sauce and cook over a high flame stirring constantly for two minutes then turn off flame and let set to thicken.

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8.  Add a little water to the canned refried beans to thin them out then cook over medium flame until hot.

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9.  Mash the two avocados and add lime juice and whip with a fork until creamy.  Place refried beans, mashed avocado, and remaining half a jar of salsa into bowls and get ready to assemble a fajita wrap by placing a large serving of peppers and onions into the center of the wrap then adding the salsa, a couple dollops of mashed avocado, and a slathering of refried beans.

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10.  Enjoy.  I ate three of these tonight and saved the rest for leftovers tomorrow.  Beware as they are extremely messy to eat.  Sometimes I give up and use a knife and fork.

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Carbs for health?

From as far back as I can remember, I struggled with migraine headaches, allergies, chronic fatigue, digestive problems, skin issues, weight control, mood swings, and other unpleasantness. But now, at age 47, I feel better than I did in grade school – thanks to adopting a diet of ultra-low fat and cholesterol-free foods which are naturally high in carbohydrates.  I have been an attorney for over 21 years.  As an attorney, it has been my job to identify problems and then use research and logic to solve those problems in a manner most advantageous to my client.  I believe the same method can be used to choose which foods to eat.  First, identify health problems you are currently experiencing.  Second, do research as to how certain foods may be causing or contributing to those problems and how other foods may stop or reverse those problems. Third, stop eating foods that cause illness and start eating foods that stop or reverse illness.  I have spent hours, days, weeks, months, and years researching the best foods to eat to maintain optimal health.  I intend to share with you the healthy changes I have made, the reasons why I made those changes, and why you may want to consider making similar changes in your life.

 

 

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